Yesterday in one of my paragraphs I wrote these words regarding stuff ~ …acquiring it, for most people, is much more fun than having to deal with the task of getting rid of it. However with the right attitude the decluttering can be far more rewarding than the acquisition of the items in the first place. ~ Which brought to mind my friend in Sydney who I helped declutter recently. Now there is a lady who had the right attitude.
She had acquired so much stuff over a long period of time. We had also discussed her starting to declutter well before she suddenly had to move. Yet she had done nothing about it. Then her hand was forced and all hell broke loose,Â luckily I was available to come to the rescue. But that aside, I was pleasantly surprised at just how open minded my friend was to decluttering.
Now you have read most of the story here, here and here but I feel inclined to elaborate further as a result of Wednesday’s post. When I went to help my friend I imagined that she would be reluctant to get rid of a lot of stuff and I could see us packing most of it up and moving it to her new place. I thought this especially about the sentimental items she had, and there were a lot of them. You see she is a very sentimental person and therefore, much of what I would consider just stuff, she attaches significance too. I don’t know what makes some people like this and others not but I often wish I could rescue those that do from the heartache of sentimentality. Mind you a lot of sentimentality is born of heartache in the first place but that is a whole other post to consider writing.
Anyway, my friend had the right attitude. She had decided that enough was enough and she didn’t want to continue living that way. So much stuff, the usually kind of clutter, sentimental stuff, aspirational stuff and simply excess stuff, when out the door in droves. This, as you can imagine pleased me no end. We made such great progress that first weekend and that is why I was happy to go back and help her the next week. While I was there on the second visit she was at work both of the full days that I was there and in the evenings she was tired and reluctant to make an effort with the decluttering. Understandable but a little disconcerting for me nonetheless. I felt it didn’t bode well for the future where I would leave her to carry on with the task alone.
Well once again I was proved wrong. The last night I was there was the eve of a day off for her and I was about to leave the next day. I insisted that she had to make decisions on what was to be decluttered among all of the items I had set aside in her living room. It took us until nearly midnight but she, without complaint, ploughed through every single item. Worn out we went to bed to rest ahead of a race to the temporary finish line the next morning before I had to depart. And wow what progress we made. The place was looking really good by the time I left.
It would be fair to use the expression “Ye of little faith.” to describe me at this point because I still wasn’t sure how long the decluttering determination would last once I walked away. I hadÂ
warned promised her I would send a weekly mission for her to tackle for some time. I decided to give her a little break from my nagging for the first couple of weeks in order for her to recover from the two weeks of mayhem but then the missions began. I called her on the second week to see if she had done much since I had left and she had done of few tasks without any interference from me. However, being the hard task master that I am, I felt she could have done more and once again had doubts that she was slacking.
Anyway I am nothing if not hopeful and I set her a reasonable simple task for the next week. And I was pleasantly surprised, she not only accomplished that task but she also took on a couple of other decluttering projects of her own. One included decluttering a piece of furniture to a teacher friend of hers. I think she got great satisfaction from not only liberating some space but especially from helping her friend and realising the benefits of her actions for the young students.
At this point I realised my lack of faith was unwarranted. So with cheer in my heart I set the next weeks mission. To go through her vast collection of scarves and declutter any that she didn’t want to waste space on. As it turned out the mission was unnecessary because she had already decluttered all but two of them on our first weekend together. I knew she had decluttered some but I didn’t realise she had done such a thorough job. I was a little taken aback when she told be this when I was talking to her at the start of the next week, thinking that I had all but given her the week off. But my renewed faith lead me to ask if she had done any other decluttering since the task I set was so easy. As it turned out she had decluttered and reorganised her utensils drawer in the kitchen. She also informed me that she managed this while working her usual day job and also working on her days off doing babysitting. I naturally gave her a big attagirl for her efforts and then we discussed what she might do this week.
We also talked about how good she felt about getting rid of more stuff and about how many people she has helped by giving away her stuff to them. There is the thrift shop, her teacher friend, a lady she met on the bus and a friend of aÂ friend who are in to Â cross-stitch, a group of little ones that she engaged in aÂ craft afternoon with using her excess craft supplies. And of course there is me, who has been another beneficiary of her crafting materials, many of which I have already use to make cards for my art space.
So as you can see my dear friend had the right attitude. She had had enough of being cluttered and did something and continues to do something about it. She also made me promise that I would still email her weekly projects while I am overseas. I have every faith that she will do a superb job of it.
Today’s Mini Mission
Put something out on the street, in your apartment foyer or in the staff room at work with a FREE sign on it. It is always fun to see how quickly this method works.
â€œIf we do not feel grateful for what we already have, what makes us think weâ€™d beÂ happy withÂ more?â€ â€” Unknown